The House of Fear

The House of Fear was an allegedly humorous radio show written and performed by myself and Nick "Axeman" Sidhu. It was broadcast on Livewire, the student-run radio station of the University of East Anglia. I have placed a delightful selection from the scripts of said show here in order that countless thousands of innocent children may be corrupted by its evil. Thank you.

* NEW * Now with even more filth and depravity! Subscribe to the House of Fear Podcast!

Or listen to individual 'creepisodes' below:

Index of sketches

  1. Fib
  2. Mad
  3. Names
  4. Style
  5. Bribe
  6. Interview
  7. Break
  8. News
  9. Peanuts
  10. Serial
  11. Cookery
  12. PMJ


L: I said, I said, Michael Portillo, I said? That's not Michael Portillo, that looks more like a nasty case of trench foot to me.

N: Oh! We're on!

L: Good evening and... hello. They say you can never cross the same river twice. Well, they're right. I walked over Hungerford Bridge yesterday afternoon on my way to the Happy Shopper convenience supermarket, and d'you know when I come back... bloody Thames had gone.

N: Amazing.

L: And I'll tell you another thing. I went to the fridge the other day to get some finely ground Norwegian social worker, and d'you know what I found in the salad crisping compartment?

N: I'm sure I couldn't give a toss?

L: It was that fat bastard Sinbad off Brookside.

N: Yees. I can't help noticing that not everything you've said this evening has been literally true... I hope I don't offend?

L: What... you mean...?

N: Yes. I'm afraid to be very sorry to have to tell you that in point of fact... you've been fibbing, haven't you?

L: [cowed] Yeah, I suppose I have, yeah.

N: We've all done it. Your landlord's banging on the door for the rent... what do you do? Well, most of us would probably say...

L: Er... I'm sorry, I can't come to the door because I've got a giant West African monitor lizard stuck to the roof of my mouth.

N: Sound familiar? If so, you're probably one of life's fibbers. But what can you do about it? How can you beat the craving to embroider the truth? Lurch has been looking at some of the more popular remedies.

L: The K'Hung'K'nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn tribe of Darkest Manchuria believe that a sharp blow to the patient's knee with a sack of antelope curry has the power to cure him of the lying affliction. This traditional folk medicine has never really caught on in Britain, however, because of the national antelope shortage.

N: My friend, you said those words with your mouth.

L: I didn't mean to. As I was saying before you were rudely interrupted by me, the fact that I've been continuously lying for several minutes now is not really a sinful act on my part. It's more of a cry for help, if you know what I mean.

N: I don't know what you mean, because earlier this century I had both my vocabularies removed by a doctor.

L: Painful operation was it?

N: [increasing madness] Operation? Operation? Operation?

L: Yes, was it a painful operation?

N: [much relieved] Oh! I thought you said would I like to hear you sing 'Mull of Kintyre', by the popular songer and singwriter Paul McCartney.

L: I'll pretend you said that to someone else. No, what I was asking, in a spirit of enquirement and friendly hatred, was if your operation pained you at all in the pain glands?

N: Actually, it was only about as painful as this.

[almighty blow, with slight groinal overtones]


L: So, hardly painful at all then?

N: Didn't even need a granaesthetic.

L: [extremely angry] A WHAAAAT????

N: You know one of those things that stops painful things hurting.

L: Ah ha ha ha, I think my long-term cellmate has become confused. Surely you mean an anaesthetic?

N: No, it's a brilliant new idea from the States. What they do is when they're about to perform some agonising surgical procedure on you, to save money on all those drugs and things, they get your grandmother and...

L: Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeessssssssssssssss.......???????

N: They do it to her instead.

L: That is bloody brilliant.

N: And they say Virginia Bottomley's dead.

L: Curiously enough that links in rather neatly with the main thrust of this evening's... thrusting. As I was saying earlier this very yesterday to my good friend Anthea Turner...

N: [irrationally annoyed] Yes,what did you say to Anthea Turner? I'm sure everyone would like to know.

L: I said, I said, I said, I said, National Lottery, I said, I said, I said National ... ... Bollocks, more like!

N: Cutting.

L: She didn't know where to look after that.

N: I don't want to interrupt your fond reminiscing if it's at all avoidable, but I fear that Uncle Time is bouncing us ever more urgently on his knee, and the strained expression of approaching ecstasy on his face tells me that we must move on with the evening's entertainment, laughter and misery.

[during the following speech Nick very quietly starts to hum, "Mull of Kintyre"]

L: Well, you'd be right to say that Nick - and I hope to God you never do - because it's time to put a large damp teacosy over the comedy duologue and welcome onto the show a man who's been called many things. The New York Museum of Art called him a genius...

[Mull of Kintyre gets louder and louder, starting to drown Lurch out]

...Felicity Kendal called him a taxi. But our guest tonight is more than all these things put together and tied up with a Greek oyster fisherman's corset laces what the shagging arsebollocks are you doing?

N: Sorry. It was just a misguided attempt to raise a bit of cheap, cynical laughter by taking the piss out of a moving and beautiful song by one of England's most talented musicians.

L: It is rather nice isn't it? [to himself] Mull of Kintyre...

[together] ... oh mist rollin' in from the sea...

N: [politician voice] Excuse me!

L: What?

N: Am I on yet? Only the producer said you'd be ready for me now, and I've got a taxi waiting.

L: A taxi? Oh, we are a High-Mucky-Muck aren't we? [whining voice] I've got a taxi waiting! There are people outside that very window grating who would give their father's arse to even look at a taxi from quite a long way away! Who the snot are you anyway, you whining snivelling... piece of encrusted dolphin faeces clinging to the handrail of the up escalator at High St Kensington tube station?

N: I'm Her Majesty's Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

L: So you are. Minister - you've come under fire recently from some members of your party who claim the the Government is selling out the people of Ulster in exchange for short-term political popularity... how would you answer that allegation?

N: Oh well, if you're just going to be silly then I can't see any point in going on with this interview.

L: The Right Honourable Sue Barker there. Nick, what did you make of the Minister's comments?

N: Well Lurch, I've made a perfect 1/64th scale replica of roly-poly Antipodean media tycoon Rupert Murdoch.

L: [matter of factly] Hi Rupert.

N: [very high and squeaky] G'day, sport.

L: Astounding. On a more serious note now...

[together, on a low bass monotone] Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

N: Thanks. Those listeners with quite sharp ears will have identified that serious note as F sharp.

L: I've got quite sharp ears.

N: Have you?

L: Yes, I'm a Vulcan.

N: Oh, very amusing. Shut up!


(FX: Door knock)

(FX: Door opens)

L: [faarmer] Yeah?

N: [very brightly] Good morning sir! My name's Mr. Mad.

L: Eh? You what?

N: [exaggeratedly slowly] Good-morning-sir-my-name's-Mr-Mad.

L: Mr Mad?

N: Yes, Julius K. Mad, BSc. Is there a problem?

L: Well, Mr Mad, I'm not meaning to be blunt, but it is half past five of a morning and my eggs'll be a-congealing. There's cows to be a-seeing-of-to yetaways.

N: Fear not good sir, for I shall forbear to detain you a moment beyond the minimum length of our approchement.

L: Sorry?

N: A Gallic word sir, whose meaning can be likened to the sensation of a cat's warm urine running down the back of one's throat of a frosty winter's morn.

L: Look 'ere Mr Mad, if there bain't owt I can be a-helpin' of, I'll bid thee good maaaaaarnin'. Oi be a roit busy faaaaaaarmer, tha knows.

N: Stap my vitals and run me through with half a poundington of J Sainsbury's pork-flavoured breakfast rashers, what can I be thinking of? I have business of mighty import to transact with your good self. Invite me indoors on the instant, sir, or the consequences will be summary oblivion for this ginger cat-frog which I am even now gently suffocating in the warm embrace of my aluminium long-johns.

L: You'm bonkers you are.


N: [normal voice] Where's the rest of it?

L: That's it. That's the end.

N: What? But that was crap!

L: Sorry.


N: And tonight on the "And Tonight..." show, we're talking to people whose names differ from those of celebrities by only one letter. Our first guest is Mr. Jonathan Bimbleby - welcome.

L: Yeah, cheers. How are you?

N: Well...

L: Glad to hear it. So when do I get the cash?

N: Sorry?

L: Only the bloke with the beard said I'd get twenty quid.

N: [embarrassed] Yes, well, I'm sure that'll all be sorted out after the show. So... Jonathan... which famous celebrity do you almost share your name with then?

L: Michael Portillo.

N: What? Jonathan Bimbleby... Michael Portillo... there's more than one letter different there.

L: Yeah. but I spell my name M-I-C-H-A-E-L-P-O-R-T-I-L-L-Z.

N: Michael Portillzzzzzzz?

L: No, it's spelt Portillzzzzzz but it's pronounced Bimbleby.

N: [aggressively] Yeah?

L: Yeah!

N: YEAH???

L: Yeah!!

N: Bollocks heck as like. Oooh! Jimmy Hill!

L: Are you calling me a liar?

N: No, I'm calling you a twat!

L: Well, we're sorry to have to interrupt that broadcast, but we're experiencing a few technical problems...

N: Oh yeah, bollocks!

L: ...and we'll get those sorted out for you... as soon as we can. Meanwhile, here's a vintage recording of the lovely Vera Lynn... falling into a waste disposal unit.

ALL: There'll be bluuuuuue birds over....

FX: Horrible grinding and screaming.


L: ...yeah, what you want to do with those is you wrap it in clingfilm for about four days and then hit it with a hammer.

N: Mmmm. The doctor said put a plaster on it and lay off the beetroot sandwiches for a week or two.

L: Well, yeah, but then he would, wouldn't he?

N: Oh! Good evening listeners and welcome to the part of the show that Lurch and myself like to call... Brian.

L: And why do we call it that, Nick?

N: After my brother.

L: I never knew your brother was called Brian.

N: WAS? WAS? Are you trying to say he's dead?

L: Why, is he?

N: Not any more, no. But it's still a bit of a sensitive topic.

L: ...Right, well, er, ...

N: Yes, on to the gist, the nub, the locus, the motif of this evening's Brian.

L: And that is...

N: Style.

L: He's right you know.

N: They say you've either got it or you haven't. Mind you, they said that about leprosy.

L: Ah ha ha ha. My friend, your facility for constructing remarks of a humorous nature could be likened unto that of a fried gerbil foetus.

N: You really are too kind. But let us dally no longer on such japettes, quiplets, and merry buttock-fondlings. Let's talk about style. Lurch.

L: Nick.

N: Thanks. Well, we all know what style is. Or do we? The House of Fear's intrepid vox pop team went out onto the streets of Crouch End in Lower Belgium and asked some of the local peasants to give us their views.

(FX: Traffic type background)

L: Excuse me, are you a peasant?

N: No, I am the Deputy Chief Constable of the Metropolitan Police.

L: Ha ha ha, nice one mate. So what do you think about style?

N: Well, I think it's a vital weapon in the armoury of today's highly modern and techno-empowered police force.

L: No, I said what do you think about style?

N: Oh sorry, I thought you were talking about tear gas.

(FX: Obvious edit)

L: Excuse me madam. I'm doing some research for a radio programe and I'd like to ask you a few...

N: [half-crazed old lady] Are you from the Social Security?

L: No, I'm with the BBC. We're interviewing people about...

N:You're one of those nice young muggers aren't you? I 'aven't got any money you know.

L: No, you've misunderstood...

N: But you can beat me up if you like.


L: All right then.

(FX: terrible fighting, during which Lurch sounds to be coming off worse)

N: And don't come round here again with your filthy microphones and your la-di-da Tory middle-class social values.

(FX: Obvious edit)

L: Well, so much for the views of the good burghers of Crouch End. Professor Oleg Stanisbegovitchlavborofsinskovitchsky is with us in the House of Fear studio... Professor, what do you think constitute the elements of style?

N: Vell, I seenk you know ze kvestion of style is purely a manifestation of ze socio-cultural factors inherent in ze poleetico-releegious paradigm -

L: Well sadly we're out of time there so thank you very much Professor for talking to us. Nick.

N: Lurch.

L: Lurch.

N: Thanks. And thanks to you for listening to what has been hopefully an enormously entertaining and above all instructive evening's... Brian.

L: Good night.

N: [continuity man] And don't forget if you have any questions or comments on this evening's edition of the House of Fear, you can write them down on a postcard and stuff them right up your aunt.

L: I don't think that was very nice.

N: Oh shut up.

L: What?

N: You heard what I said.

L: Right. [to the gallery] Can you stop the tape please Dave?

*FX* Violent scuffle, suddenly cut off.


L: ...of course our legal teams can tie up the contract details, finalisation-wise, so if you'd just sign at the bottom...

N: Hmm. Well, Mr Munro, of course Barnstone & Partners is very keen to do business with you, ...

L: Glad to hear it. And of course on behalf of Global Logistics Incorporated may I say how much we are all looking forward to working with our British friends on this very significant project.

N: Yees. There are one or two little hitches though... we've done some research into your company, and I'm not entirely happy with the results. For example, in 1988 Global Logistics was involved in the Wilkinson share scandal in Tokyo.

L: Entirely innocently of course.

N: Indeed. And in 1992 you personally were questioned by a Congressional committee on accusations of insider trading and unethical business practices.

L: No criminal charges were ever brought.

N: Of course, of course, but you must see that Barnstone & Partners is a reputable company, and that if questions are being asked about Global... well, the City is a very small place, Mr Munro.

L: Look. We're both business men. Let's come to a business arrangement about this.

N: What did you have in mind?

L: I've got a briefcase in my car containing twenty thousand of your English pounds. It's yours if you sign on that line.

N: Mr Munro, I'm afraid I -

L: Listen, we're not talking undisclosed advance payments, sundry expenses or commission here. This is a straightforward, honest-to-God bribe. And it's all yours if you sign that deal.

N: MR MUNRO! I have to say first of all that I'm shocked. Shocked and appalled. And if you think that you can influence the policy of a respectable City firm with a huge briefcase full of cash then you are very sadly mistaken.

L: American Express?

N: Oh! Well, that'll do nicely.

(they both laugh as the champagne corks start to pop)


(In this sketch Lurch, playing the interviewee, adopts the voice of the chartered accountant in the notorious Python 'Vocational Guidance Counsellor' routine)

N: So Mr Applicant. You want to work for The House of Fear?

L: That is correct, yes.

N: Tell me... Keith. What qualities do you think you can bring to our successful comedy show?

L: Yes. I have prepared a short presentation on that subject -

N: Well, if you could just give me an overview.

L: Certainly. I have an attractive and engaging personality; I also have a strong interest in fearless - but responsible - investigative journalism. I feel that were I to join your House of Fear team I could strengthen its already superb reputation in the field of decent, honest, old-fashioned family-values radio.

N: Hmm. I notice from your CV that you're interested in collecting London Underground photos and memorabilia.

L: Oh yes, yes. Very interested.

N: Any other hobbies... killing or maiming, for example? Do you like keeping highly dangerous attack dogs, or pushing your own excrement through old ladies' letterboxes?

L: No.

N: Pushing old ladies' excrement through your own letterbox?

L: Oh no, I wouldn't like that at all.

N: I see. Fine. Well, Mr Applicant, I'm happy to tell you that you've made it through to the second stage of the interview process. If you'd just like to step through that door over there.

L: Thank you... thank you very much. Good morning.

*FX* Door opens and closes

*FX* The horrible grinding and screaming of the waste disposal unit we heard Vera Lynn falling into earlier on.

N: Well, that's lunch sorted out anyway.


L: there you have it: 25% of the studio audience say No; 12% are undecided; and a whopping 89% say Yes, the Government should erect a colossal marble statue of Michael Portillo's lips to mark the millenium. I'm Mike Killjoy and you're watching 'One Man, One Vote'. Join us after the break, when we'll be talking to some senior Whitehall officials about European integration, the sterling crisis, and whether John Major would make a more effective garden gnome than a Prime Minister. We'll be right back.

N: Fed up with your old washing powder? Just doesn't seem to shift those deep-down stains and troublesome skidmarks? Now there's new Washitex MegaPower - the powder that zaps stains, dirt, grease, and even your clothes! We asked Mrs Jane Felcher what she thought.

L: [pepperpot voice] Well Michael, I tried this new Washitex on my husband's rugby kit. It was absolutely plastered with mud and pieces of his opponent's brains, but after just half an hour with new Washitex, the dirt was gone! All that was left in the washing machine was just a small clump of tattered rags.

N: What did your husband say when he found out new Washitex had reduced his rugby kit to shreds?

L: Well, he's had to give up rugby and he now spends his evenings taking me out to expensive restaurants instead!

N: Ha ha ha. Another triumph for Washitex - the soap powder that's tough on dirt, and even tougher on your clothes! Guaranteed to ruin your expensive new dress - even at today's lower temperatures!

L: [irritating bloke] Yeah, I like to move fast - move with the times. To me a car's gotta look the part. I want a car that really sums up the kind of guy I am.

N: So you don't like this new Volvo then sir?

L: Naah. Not really my style, know what I mean?

N: How about that old Skoda over there?

L: Now that is the car for me! I'll take it!

N: Skoda. For the man who wants everyone to know what he is. A dick head.

L: Oooh. I just lurrrve the taste of it in my mouth. I just want to run my lips up and down it and tease the end with my tongue. I want to suck on it until its gloopy goodness spurts down the back of my throat. And then I'll bite it in half.

N: The new Magna. It's more than just a chocolate bar. It's a substitute for oral sex.

*FX* Exciting music

N: Tonight at ten on Channel Poor. Powerful new drama for Sunday nights as one man takes on the might of the British vacuum cleaner industry. The Sucker.

L: I trusted you, Bob. But now you've betrayed that trust - and you're not welcome at Vac-U-Suck Ltd any more.

N: [woman] He's dangerous, don't you understand? He's armed with a Black & Decker Dustbuster - and he's willing to kill to get what he wants!

L: Dammit Ursula. I've been watching you - don't try and tell me you've not been having an affair with the vacuum cleaner salesman.

N: This is the police! Now come on out slowly with that dust bag where we can see it.

L: Can I interest you in a new vacuum cleaner madam?

N: The Sucker. Gripping drama starting tonight. On Poor.


Here is the news:


My life as a hamster - Sandy Gall speaks out


Four thousand screaming fans mob Rick Astley at his latest concert - then string him up from a lamppost.


Paddy Ashdown in toenail scandal with South African lemur


Blues legend Charles de Gaulle says "Non!" to heart bypass surgery


Was Rolf Harris a double agent during the Cold War?


Crocodiles live longer than mice, says a revealing new study


Four hundred jobs lost at a nasal mucus factory on Tyneside


Sarah Brightman's father confesses, "I did it for the publicity"


Squirrel Nutkin in child abuse shocker


Instant coffee causes syphilis, say leading experts


and Felicity Kendal starts her new job mucking out the kangaroo cages at London Zoo.


(strange voice)

Let me take you back...back through the whirling mists of time... to an era long ago, an age beyond the memory of man on this earth, when strange gods ruled the skies, and strange constellations ruled the night. It was a time of peace, a time of plenty... a time of chocolate-coated peanuts.

(salesman voice)

Yes! Now you can enjoy the fruits of your forefather's labours - genuine prehistoric chocolate-coated peanuts are available to all for the incredible price of just œ49.99 a packet. Don't miss out - apply today for your chance to own this masterpiece of ancient craftsmanship. Worn smooth by the countless centuries of time that have swept across the world, this packet of chocolate-coated peanuts will honour and beautify your home for many years to come. And remember - there is absolutely no evidence to show that chocolate-coated peanuts cause vomiting, madness and death. It's a vicious rumour.


Master of Glenmorangie

The story so far : Young Jamie MacNutcase, having inherited his father's whisky empire, returns to Glenmorangie Castle only to discover that it has been occupied by the Nazis and painted a lurid yellow.

The BBC regrets that this serial has been abandoned due to silliness. Next week we bring you a more sensible story entitled "Harold Macmillan - the Vegetable Years".


NICK: Hi folks and welcome to this week's House of Cookery with me, Nick the Axeman. This week's mouthwatering recipe is a traditional Filipino dish revered for thousands of years as an aphrodisiac and a truly effective cure for warts and verucas. I'm going to show you how to amaze your friends with a sumptuous meal of roast vicar in hedgehog sauce.

First catch your vicar. This is easily done by simply inviting him round for a cup of tea and a chat about your spiritual well-being, then stabbing him unexpectedly with a tin of Spam. Hang the body over the bath for about four weeks until thoroughly dry and crinkly. If you're using a Roman Catholic priest make sure his nose is removed with a pair of shears before you pop him in the oven.

Now pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5, or 1600 degrees Centigrade, and slip the vicar in on a large greased baking sheet.

While he is cooking you can make a start on the hedgehog sauce. You'll need about five hedgehogs for this, if you're cooking for the whole family. Catching the hedgehogs is no problem - just put out a few chocolate-covered peanuts on the doorstep the night before, and you should have a small heap of corpses outside your front door first thing in the morning.

Take a handful of these, thump unmercifully with a sledgehammer to make sure they're completely dead and then chop them finely with a sharp knife. Sprinkle the chopped hedgehog over a dish of cubed artichoke hearts and fry this mixture over a low heat, stirring occasionally. Now add one egg and a pinch of dried VAT inspector.

Once the sauce is bubbling nicely, it will be time to check the roast. If the vicar's face is beginning to brown and frazzle, cover it with a few slices of bacon and glaze lightly with human snot.

About half an hour before serving, prepare a garnish made from diced Sunday newspapers, marinaded overnight in gorilla sweat.

Take the vicar out of the oven, and see if he's cooked by slipping a large kitchen knife up his nose and into his brain. If the knife comes out clean, he's ready. Transfer him to a serving dish, pour the hedgehog sauce carefully all over his cassock, and gently stuff his ears with the newspaper garnish. All you need is a nice cold bottle of French wine, and there you have an easy lunch for three people.

LURCH:Well thanks Nick, I'll try that myself this weekend, my parents are coming to visit.


Nick: Well, all this week MC Lurch has been reviewing the latest album from highly successful indie rockers Delirium Tremens. Now, exclusively for the House of Fear in association with Livewire, he gives us his views. Tell us all about it Lurch.

Lurch: Frankly Nick I was flabbergasted when I first heard this album. With its cheeky title, "Cover Me With Grilled Weasel's Liver" I was expecting the usual self-satisfied jangly indie groove songs. I must say I was mightily impressed. The album is a coruscating catalogue of dementia and darkness, its burning guitars carving out mythical riffs against a swirling background of tortured vocals from the depths of Hell. Lead singer Angus Jones's violent, maddened screams assault the ears and twist the brain into a raddled mess, while ace guitarist Dean Moriarty whips up a controlled frenzy of murder, insanity and death with an irresistible hook line that keeps you coming back for more -

Nick: All right, I've had enough of this. Lurch, you're talking a load of old socks.

Lurch: Was I? Sorry. Anyway rock lovers, you can catch the DT's on their exciting new promotional tour. They'll be playing a variety of venues from Notting Hill Tube Station to the back seat of my brother's Ford Sierra, so make sure you get a ticket before it's too late.

Nick: And now a message for Mr. Alan Harvey, of 22 Lavender Gardens, Cringleford. Your wife wants us to tell you that she loves you very much and that you put your underpants on inside out this morning.